College students can now qualify for 12 months of free smartphone service through Sprint and Best Buy.

The wireless provider and the electronics retailer are teaming up to offer college students a free year of no-contract text, talk, and 1GB of data a month.                     (You'll pay $10 a month for unlimited data.)

What's the catch? You have to pay unsubsidized pricing for the phones that qualify for this offer. The phones start in the $200 range and go up to $900 for the iPhone 5S!      See a full list of the phones.

Still, if you can fit under that data cap, you as a student can have smartphone service for a year for nothing. A $36 activation fee does apply and the deal is only available through Jan. 4, 2014. It's also important to note that once you're done with your 12 months of free service, the monthly service charge goes up to around $70 a month for unlimited text, talk and 1GB of data.

My advice is assess this offer carefully to see if it makes sense for you. This is potentially a deal if you're not iPhone crazy!

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Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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